To go cycling in the country which is, to a greater extent than anywhere else on Earth, the home of cycling, is an experience you’ll never forget.
One thing you will notice in France is that the drivers treat you with the utmost respect. To say “le velo” and all things cycling are revered in France would truly be an understatement. Cycling is like a religion there, and you will be treated with courtesy and respect at all times on the road.
France has wonderfully quiet roads to cycle on compared to the UK. Of course, a lot depends on which part of France you’re going to and at what time of year – and how much hill-climbing you’re looking to do.
Many enjoy cycling in Brittany in the early part of the summer, for a number of reasons. First off, it’s very easy to get to on the overnight ferry from a number of England’s southern ports. If you’re within riding distance of Portsmouth or Plymouth, it’s easy enough to do the whole holiday on your bike via the overnighter to St. Malo. Once you get there, unlike other northern French ports, you’re straight off into beautiful countryside peppered with small but bustling market towns. In May and June, the weather is usually ideal, so you don’t need too much stuff. However, you may be unlucky with the weather, and it’s perfectly possible to get a week’s solid rain here just as with the South of England – so come prepared with rain cape just in case you’re unlucky.
The single main reason for choosing Brittany is its undulation. If you really like flat cycling, then almost the whole of France will fit the bill perfectly unless you like some really stiff challenges, in which case try “les Alpes” or the Pyrenees. If your preference is for hills rather than mountains - and reasonably gentle ones at that – combined with beautiful green rolling countryside, friendly people and great food, then Brittany is ideal.
The south coast of Brittany, known as Morbihan, has a gentle climate, beautiful coastline and beaches. If you come to the area, be sure to visit the beach at Carnac (big and busy), the old towns of Vannes and Auray, and sample as many oysters and scallops (Coquilles St. Jacques), as you can handle.
You can use the “Camping Municipale” for economical camping and excellent facilities. Every community is legally obliged to provide such a facility in France, and you don’t need to book ahead, even in the summer months. You’ll see them signposted in every town.
You won’t need much; a quick visit to Regatta Outlet for a lightweight tent, your vango sleeping bags and a portable stove, and you shouldn’t have too much weight in the panniers then! Just be sure to get your provisions in before lunchtime and before Sundays; Brittany remains very traditional and you don’t want to be famished after a long ride and not be able to access a baguette quickly!
Thanks for visiting our Cycling Holidays in France page. We hope it helped find what you were looking for.